It is generally agreed that globalisation has four key features. They are:
â€¢Stretched networks of connections, linking people and places across the world.
â€¢Intensification of flows within these networks, both in magnitude and in the ability to connect people and events across the world almost simultaneously.
â€¢Increased homogeneity in the way we do things. The economic, social and cultural traditions of different places seem to be increasingly similar.
â€¢A global infrastructure of informal and institutional arrangements that allow networks to develop worldwide
This description of globalisation clearly resonates with much of what we have already said here about the globalised ...view middle of the document...
All have something to say about the border, and all talk about the way the border throws globalisation into sharp relief.
The border between Mexico and the USA certainly is a fascinating location for exploring contemporary globalisation (see Figures 15 and 16). As a divide between one of the wealthiest nations in the world and one of the poorer, the border acts like a window onto the range of global forces that play across it. The border also alerts us to the geographies of globalisation, since it both brings some things close together while pushing others far away. As well as the territories defined by the border (the nation states of Mexico and the USA), we can also see the flows that cross the border into those territories.
There are extensive flows of movement that connect Mexico and the USA: US tourists crossing to holiday in Acapulco, Mexican workers crossing to go shopping in El Paso, and US companies investing in factories in Mexico. There are also connections to much more distant places. Foreign investment has flowed into Mexico from many places, and some of the factories on the Mexican side of the border are owned by companies based in Japan and Korea. Some of the migrants hoping to cross the border into the USA to find work have come from Chile or even China. Many of the migrants who made it across and now live elsewhere in the USA retain much of their Mexican culture, keeping neighbourhoods of cities such as Los Angeles close to Mexico. However, there are also guns and barbed wire along large parts of the border trying to keep Mexico distant and separate from the USA. Looking at the border with an eye to this movement, and to various efforts to prevent it, shows some of the key ways in which globalisation is now working. It shows us how all sorts of relations are now stretched around the world, but also how some are stopped from reaching very far at all. In addition, it shows us how thinking geographically about territories and flows and...